Thieves in Pandwong Division Kitgum municipality should start planning for surgery, after the area LC III chairperson, Raymond Ocan gave a directive to residents to chop off the hands and feet of any thief caught in the act.
The directive has been welcomed with mixed reactions especially from fellow leaders who do not agree with his argument that several youth in the municipality have resorted to petty thefts and burglaries instead of toiling to build and accumulate wealth.
Ocan adds that unless drastic punishments like chopping off the hands and feet of those caught red handed are administered, fighting crime will remain a mere dream. Some leaders however dismissed Ocan's proposal arguing that cruel punishments like chopping off hands and feet will draw the country back to barbarism.
The Kitgum District Education and Health Secretary Emmanuel Lapyem describes Ocan's proposal as savagery given all the relevant laws in the country that can be explored to bring the offenders to order.
He further warns that leaders have the charismatic obligation of inspiring good remedies to societal problems instead of inciting masses into the state of lawlessness.
Also, Jimmy Oyet, a resident of Kitgum town disagrees with Raymond Ocan claiming that the directive will heighten mob justice since residents will take the law into their own hands.
According to records obtained at Kitgum Central Police registry, petty offences like theft, threatening violence, malicious damage to property, defilement and gender based violence are the most reported.
Now, William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, says the rate at which minors are involved in crime is worrying. He says there is need for the law keepers to follow up all crimes to their logical conclusion to avoid vengeance arising from unfairness. Mob justice is illegal according to Ugandan laws.